(March 22) – The six Democrats on the House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee stood with parents and teachers this afternoon when they defeated a bill that would have laid the foundation for more guns in schools.
SB17-005 would have allowed any teacher in Colorado who completes an employee handgun safety course to carry a concealed handgun in their classroom.
“I’ve heard from parents and teachers and so many constituents in my district—they don’t want this and they don’t feel it would make them any safer,” said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver. “Teachers should not be asked to take on the role of law enforcement or security guards. Teachers are in schools to teach.”
“This bill may create an opt-in for school districts, but it wouldn’t be an opt-in for the parents who don’t want their kids to be in a classroom with an armed teacher,” said Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora. “Because in many districts, there’s not another school for their children.”
Testimony against the bill included many parents and educators concerned about the danger of more guns in schools.
“I ask you as a mother and a teacher to vote no on this bill,” testified Rachel Barnes, a Colorado resident and mother.
Later in the evening, the committee also defeated SB17-006, which would have lowered the age requirement to 18 years for members of the United States military to apply for concealed carry permits without adequate safeguards, and SB17-007, which would have allowed Coloradans to buy and sell magazines of any size, including the 100-round magazine used by the shooter in the Aurora theater massacre in July 2012.